February 6, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I am writing this post on Sunday night, not actually believing that I survived the week. It was a doozy of a week here in Chicago. We started it with a covering of rock hard snow on the ground, snow that had fallen weeks ago and didn't leave because it never had a chance to melt in our frigid temps. Instead it just slowly wore down to it's rock hard, icy under-layer, covering most of the city's greener spots. Then we got the blizzard. So we now end the week with more than two feet of snow on the ground. I honestly feel like a deserve some sort of reward for survivng these past seven days, but I'll settle for the pizza and beer I had while watching the Superbowl tonight.
The city got a light dusting of snow on Monday night, but the blizzard didn't pass through until Tuesday afternoon. I very luckily got to watch the first flakes fall from the comfort of my own home, while sitting in my PJs. I sat there on my couch until 6 p.m., watching the flakes fall, and then begin to blow and then almost completely obscure my view. And believe you me, I would have stayed in my home all night, but I had to pick Taylor up from daycare. So I put on my boots, hat, gloves and wrapped a scarf around my exposed face and stepped outside.

I have lived in the city more than six years now, and I don't think it ever felt as foreign to me as it did on that walk. The wind was howling, the snow was blowing, and I didn't see a single soul on my walk. In a city of millions of people, it's very strange to walk down the street at 6 p.m. and not see anyone else. It felt so apocalyptic.

I knew the storm was going to be as bad as the weather forecasters predicted just based on that walk. Already the blowing snow was producing two foot tall snow drifts. It's not like the snow just fell and blanketed everything with two feet of snow. It swirled around and left little rhyme or reason to where it accumilated. While walking Taylor home, I'd see a bare patch of cement and then immediately be trudging through two feet of snow to only a couple paces later be met by a couple inches.

By the next morning however, everything was covered.
My street looked like northern Michigan in the middle of winter. Sidewalks were no longer visible. Everything was covered in snow with the only variation being how much.

Entire cars were buried. Cars were stuck. Just down the street from my building was a car blocking the street that remained there until Friday. And that sight certainly wasn't an anomoly. Lots of cars were stuck. Those that were parked in a spot had little chance of successfully manuvering out of the spot, and then making it to the nearest plowed thoroughfare. I have never been so happy that Mike and I rent a spot in a garage just up the street.

None of this however daunted my dog.
Rest assured he is reveling in all the snow. I am certain that if we had a backyard, he'd make himself a snow bed and lay in it until the first thaw.

As a result of the storm, most of the city shut down for Wednesday. I worked from home the entire day and Mike was brave enough to trudge in for the afternoon. By Thursday though, the city was generally back open for business, so I headed in.
I made it, despite the trains running late. And a lot of other people did too. Downtown seemed about as busy with city life hustle and bustle as it does on most days. The only real difference being that mounds of snow lining the city streets.
This morning I woke up to find we had another light dusting - no more than a couple inches. At this point, that seems like nothing more than icing on the cake. It barely registers with the exception that it dusted everything in that fresh, new snow look. By in large though, I don't think anyone was fazed by it. At this point people have either dug out their cars or resolved to leave them until things thaw out. Which honestly is not something I am looking forward to. The snow, while a pain, has at least become manageable and makes the city look the way February ought to look. It's the muck and the mud and the mess and the daily Taylor baths that I am worried about. Because when the snow melts, that what us Chicagoans have to look forward to next.
Not this Chicagoan though. What I have to look forward to next is vacation. Mike and I leave for New Orleans this week. We'll spend three whole days in The Big Easy. And it's my hope that by that point, snow will be the furthest thing from my mind.


Anonymous said...

We had a pretty similar experience, except we started out with mostly dry ground because we had been lucky enough to have a few 55+ days.

Dorrie said...

Great photos, Amy! Have a great time in NOLA! =)